The word detox has taken such a battering over the past few years, that there is more negative connotation and myth associated with it, than the wonderful vitality and rejuvenation it can bring to your health. A good detox program can literally be the start of a new lease on life and the essential first step down the path of long-term wellbeing!
Yet, many of us fear doing a detox. Whether it is fear of failure, fear of not being able to ‘cope’ without wine, coffee, chocolate (pick one or all). Or fear of it being too much of an imposition on our lifestyle. But if that is stopping you from giving your body a good spring clean… that’s you cheating yourself of feeling absolutely tip top, which is a much better feeling than fear don’t you think?
It’s also you buying into the media hype that a detox is all about denial and starvation. It’s Not!
Detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out.
By removing and eliminating toxins, while feeding your body healthy nutrients, a good cleanse can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health. Understanding proper nutrition can be tough when you’re given so much misinformation. However, I’ve condensed it into ten simple tips below that will introduce you to the wonderful benefits of detoxing, while not having to fear sacrifice or denial.
Reducing your consumption of toxins doesn’t have to be a painful or ‘scary’ task. We have so much fresh food available to us, why would you eat something that has been processed in a lab?
I am a big advocate of Seasonal, Local, Organic and Whole food, prepared with love, and eaten SLOW-ly. Food that comes in a packet and can last in the cupboard for months is really stretching the definition of food! I say eat Low HI ie. food with very little Human Intervention (HI). Simply cutting out processed foods and eating fresh produce will have a marked improvement on your health and productivity.
Ten Tips To Clean Eating
- Try to stay away from grain-based carbs for 4 weeks. These include flour, breakfast cereals, pasta, breads and all forms of sugar. If this is too hard, add small amounts of whole grains such as brown rice, oats, bread made from rye, oats or spelt, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat.
- Eat an abundance of fresh (preferably organic) fruit and vegetables every day. Non-starchy vegetables will be your main supply of carbohydrates for the next 4 weeks. Add small amounts of above if you are feeling tired.
- Eat at least one big, colourful salad every day. Make it as colourful as you can get and add fresh herbs to give it zing. Sprinkle a good quality protein over the top (nuts, seeds, lean chicken, fish, egg or tofu) and voila!
- Cut out soft drinks, packaged fruit juices, cordials and alcohol. If you must have the occasional glass of wine, keep it to no more than 2 glasses of quality wine and only indulge once a week. If you can sustain for 4 weeks it’s worth it.
- Use cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil and flaxseed oil on your salads. For cooking use butter (yes, that natural stuff that gets a hard wrap), coconut oil or olive oil (these don’t convert to trans fats when heated like many vegetable oils).
- For your protein sources choose raw, unsalted nuts, seeds, free-range eggs and non-GMO soy products. For the non-vegos choose oily fish (no more than three times each week), free-range chicken and turkey and lean cuts of meat.
- Stay as far away as you can from margarine (even those with added plant sterols that reduce cholesterol). Also avoid processed and highly hydrogenated vegetable oils and any sauces or dressings that contain them. Make your own salad dressings with natural ingredients, fresh herbs, cold pressed oil (above) and a good balsamic vinegar. Remember low HI, and that’s for all of your food choices.
- Eliminate all sugars, including malt extract, corn syrup, and especially those artificial ones (which should be banned along with all those ‘diet’ drinks that contain them)! If you need a sweetener use Manuka honey, grade A Maple syrup or Stevia (a very sweet herb grown in South America).
- Drink 2 litres of water every day. If coffee is a must-have, restrict to one cup a day and drink it unsweetened and black. Same goes for tea. If you do have a black tea or coffee, drink two extra glasses of water to compensate for the diuretic effect these have.
- If you do succumb to temptation, DO NOT beat yourself up and shower yourself in guilt. Put it behind you and get back on track. Don’t use it as an excuse to throw in the towel. Even applying 6 of these tips is better than nothing. Get back to the why you are doing this, and get on with the doing.
If you’d like to give a Detox (without denial) a try, you can grab a FREE copy of my Spa Inspired 7-Day Detox here.
It has been created with the help of the best Detox Spa Retreats around the world, for you to do at home.